In my previous blog I talked about the science of love, and how the brain releases chemicals that make us feel blissful and euphoric when we are first “in love” with someone. Because of this flood of brain chemicals, it’s common to feel love intensely (just like our Bachelorette).
How long does the craziness of love—passionate love—last? And why does knowing about passionate love even matter? Don’t all couples experience passionate love at some point? And don’t they do just fine?
Ummm….no. <cough, ridiculous divorce rates, cough><cough, ridiculously high cohabitation rates, cough>
You see, passionate love experiences are only temporary, usually lasting only about 12 to 36 months. Yep, you read me right—the I-don’t-ever-want-to-leave-your-side-make-love-to-me-forever-and-ever-and-ever-amen feelings of passionate love only last for about a year to about 3 years (at the very most).
Don’t get me wrong. Almost all of us experience passionate love early on in our love relationships, and I would venture to say that this is a very, very necessary process that draws young lovers closer together.
But let’s stop here for a little Reality 101: Passionate love does not last! The very nature of passionate love is that it will wax and wane. It will fade!
Do you see the problem?
Faaaaaaaaar too often, couples today make decisions about cohabitating or marriage while they are still in the throws of passionate love.
We’re a society that needs demands immediate gratification. And while this instant satisfaction may be okay when it comes to driving through Mickey D’s to satisfy an urge for carbs and cholesterol, drive-thru passionate love certainly isn’t a way to determine if “that” girl or “that” guy is the one we should live with or marry.
So, a huge step toward divorce-proofing your relationship is to determine: Is what I’m feeling passionate love—or love that lasts?
[This is usually the point where students freak out. They’re afraid that after passionate love fades, their attraction to their partner or their gotta-have-it sexual desires will fade, too. Nope. Not gonna happen. Come back later and see why real love is even better than passionate love!]
Photo Credit: freefotouk (flickr.com)